Cook Brown works with employers to develop optimum and creative strategies for defending against employee claims in jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, before administrative tribunals (such as the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, and National Labor Relations Board; the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Labor Commissioner; and Fed-OSHA and Cal-OSHA), and in court-ordered or private arbitration.
Cook Brown’s long record of success spans from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies and public entities.
Our Approach to Litigation
Employment litigation, whether an individual claim or a class action, can be time-consuming. Our attorneys will make sure you’re prepared for the process and will work with you from the beginning to chart a course of action for successful resolution, keeping in mind your bottom line.
Because every company and situation is unique, there is no one ready answer for what successful resolution means. We’ll discuss your long- and short-term goals, whether you require immediate resolution, and what the insurance implications will be. We’ll work with you to determine whether there’s readily available documentation to defeat the claim. Very importantly, we’ll work with you to determine how you’ll define “win.” In some cases, the question to ask is: are you ready for a fight?
Cook Brown asks these questions to ensure your litigation plan works for you. With that plan in place, our attorneys are powerful allies for employers defending against any type of employment law claim. We’ll bring knowledgeable and creative counsel to the table, with unsurpassed expertise in deciphering the complex legal issues underlying today’s employment claims.
California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) authorizes individual employees to sue employers for civil penalties on behalf of the state. PAGA was enacted 15 years ago to support the state’s efforts at policing wage and hour violations. Unfortunately, these benevolent intentions have led to unforeseen consequences for California businesses. Whereas the state’s enforcement efforts were traditionally focused on employers who willingly underpaid employees, PAGA cases enables private law firms to sue even compliant and conscientious employers for technical and harmless Labor Code violations.
Prosecution of PAGA has become a lucrative specialty practice, leading to thousands of PAGA lawsuits each year. As the vast majority of PAGA recoveries are paid to attorneys, more and more law firms are becoming PAGA specialists, and employers find themselves confronting multiple and overlapping PAGA claims. Cook Brown has been monitoring these developments on the legislative and judicial front since PAGA’s enactment to ensure its clients are armed to prevent and or defend PAGA claims. In every case, it aims to minimize client exposure, reduce PAGA liability and minimize unnecessary attorney’s fees. At the same time, it assists clients in formulating business strategies that will preclude future PAGA lawsuits.
PAGA lawsuits commence with a letter notifying a business and the state of the alleged discovery of Labor Code violations. You can read about strategies for responding to any such letter here.